This story was written by Juan Sandoval, Summer Youth Internship Program participant.

This summer, I’m working remotely with DTE’s Customer Strategy Revenue Management and Protection Field Operations group. I start my day by checking in with my fellow Summer Youth Internship Program (SYIP) students. We have a Teams meeting with our program leaders in which we talk about the day, ask questions and say hello. Throughout the past few weeks, we’ve started building a lot of friendships through these check-ins.

Then I join my Customer Strategy team and shadow some of their meetings to learn more about the business. We then work together to problem solve and finish our daily tasks efficiently and correctly.

The team I work with has been amazing! The work can be hard and demanding at times, but the team is very supportive and we always get the work done; I’m learning a lot this summer. Working at home has also been a challenge, but it’s taught me discipline and showed me I don’t need to be in an office to get work done. And, being with my puppy Prince is a great way to work!

I meet up with my fellow SYIP students during the day for career training and fun, interactive check-ins. The group has become a big family and I’m sure some of us will be connecting with each other when the summer’s over – maybe even on some video calls.

I learned about the internship through my FIRST Robotics team – 5901 Cougar Pack (a DTE-sponsored team) – out of Voyageur College Prep in Detroit. This past year, I was co-captain of the team and next year, my senior year, I’ll be the captain. I’m really interested in mechanical engineering and robotics has been a huge motivation in exploring that .

Through the internship, I’ve learned a lot of teamwork and organizational skills that will help in school and beyond. We’ve also learned a lot of Microsoft-focused computer skills, including effectively using Excel, which wasn’t my biggest strength before, but I feel more comfortable with it now. But the biggest thing I’ll take with me is that building great relationships with your teams is key to a great workplace.

If high school students are considering going for an internship at a company like DTE, I say “do it!” We all know taking a leap and trying new things can be hard and challenging but you can do it because you are you! You’re smart and you’re a problem solver. Don’t be afraid to ask questions even if you think they seem silly because we’re all here to learn. Working at DTE has been a great opportunity – let’s continue to take advantage of all of the wise people around us, and learn and grow.

And since we work with energy, I like to tell the other interns, “Be electric in everything you do!”